It has been three months since Shane Myers, James Konan, and Mackalla Ammh returned to Earth. Summer is fading into fall and, with her senior year only a few weeks away, Shane is worried about school and how it would only take one well-timed strike to end her life; in class, she will be completely without her protectors and also unable to morph because of those around her. James has been introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Myers as Shane’s and Randie’s new martial arts and fencing tutor; both teens have been taking ‘lessons’ from him in the nearby woods that he has claimed as home. Mackalla has been adopted into Shane’s family without a hitch and, excluding Randie, no one is the wiser. Shane has learned to morph into Non-Maned Heifia form and practices as often as possible, delighting in the power to change her shape. Randie has been told in detail of Shane’s adventures and is nearly begging for inclusion in what she feels are adventures soon to come; the question has been brought up that, if Shane’s worlds are real, what chance is there that Randie’s are as well? Mackalla has been in constant contact with Ana and others of the nightcircle; the Heifia is homesick but, with learning English and protecting Shane from minor annoyances, he’s been too busy to truly yearn for Lavana.

A small brown beast crept forward, painstakingly silent with each careful step, sharp black claws imprinting into Lavana’s rich soil. Almond-shaped golden eyes were wide and the pupils large; night was both a blessing and a curse, but to this beast, the ability to see the surreal glow of bodyheat transformed the darkness into a gift. The Tlaemae maneuvered his compact, muscular body into a slight dip in the field and lay down, motionless except for his searching gaze.

The stench of Evil nearly overwhelmed his keen senses, but those gold eyes tracked every shadowy movement that the army made around him; his utter stillness left him undetected for hours on end, though the stress of being surrounded by beasts that would tear him apart if they knew he was there was taking its toll. Wiry muscles began to shiver and the Tlaemae forced them to relax, still honed in on individual movements and conversations. Nothing of any worth, but then, there must be some reason why one of Equitor’s groups was above-ground without any apparent task. It was the only time, as a matter of fact, that the Evils had been sighed above-ground at night.

The crackling of a gravelly voice caught his attention and, without moving, the Lavanian focused on it. The words were obscured by a heavy accent and the background noise drowned out the voice’s inflections, but the message was clear. The Tlaemae caught his breath as the Evil passed down orders from Equitor himself, and as the rest of the small army began to gather, the male feared for his own safety. Then, a disgruntled howl erupted nearby.

“SPY!”

The Tlaemae sucked in a breath and sprang into action, sprinting as fast as his short legs could carry him towards the forest; but in the plains, one who lived his life in the trees was not very fast at all. Listening to Ajoitéi and Foruques pursuing with far greater speed, the Lavanian ducked his streamlined head to growl out a password at his comband. The jewels glowed faintly and a smooth but quiet voice acknowledged the connection from the other end.

“Ana. They’re going to attack Earth. Get the girl back here.”

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